Why do (some) humans have the need to believe in “higher existence”?

In the last couple of days I encountered people which are obviously seeking for god-like explanations for their existence. This made me think of the question: What is the driving force (or wish) behind this need to have a “higher being”? What kind of state of mind is necessary to have this desire?

(Update, thanks to a hint of Nick Nielsen aka Geopolicratus Strategicus)

Of course I can not offer a perfect answer to these questions, since there are probably as many solutions as humans on this planet. But I assume that there are some meta structures which emphasize a condition, which creates the appetite for a “higher”, non-human reason for their own existence.

I guess it is not required to point out that this need is to me totally bizarre (even though I admit that I was once also on diverse spiritual trips, trying to figure out why I am what I am – and the people around me and the planet, universe and so on. But I got over it – and this is another story).

So here is a short set of possible reasons that I have figured out, while I sat on stone, watching the Adriatic Sea. The set itself does not imply a priority of the possible reasons – it is just the stuff that came more or less spontaneously into my mind.


  • Dependency of socio-cultural patterns, while the trust regarding your own experience is turned off (= anxiety, self-distrust/non-self-love-experience, insecureness, being satisfied or afraid of not thinking for yourself). Typically related to monotheistic religions.
  • Strong believe that intuition always tells the truth – especially self-looped by the believe that only your intuition and animal instincts are reliable guides in finding the ultimate truth (e.g. astral travelling nerds, homoeopathy users,  quantum mechanics-non-understanding, everything-is-connected-with-everything-sayers, …).
  • Frustrated co-primates, feeling angry about their personal or planetary state, so it must be claimed, that there must be a higher meaning. Because it must be. It must, because what else…?
  • Self-drugged, egomaniac relief seekers, trying to compensate their immoral behavior in order to get a compensation by living given standards (which makes no sense, but at least you feel better after you got your absolution). A truly opportunistic stance. Highly compatible with capitalistic viewports.
  • People who really believe that human existence can not be explained just by being human, so it is logical that there is “something”. A plan. A creation.
  • Super-Freaks which actually hear the “voice” of this higher being – getting commands to act in this or that way (from being really nice to others, up to taking a bomb and blowing yourself and others into the next sphere…)
  • UPDATE: The “agent/agency detector” – a term originating from the field of evolutionary psychology (of religion). Psychologists Kurt Gray and Daniel Wegner wrote: The high cost of failing to detect agents and the low cost of wrongly detecting them has led researchers to suggest that people possess a Hyperactive Agent Detection Device, a cognitive module that readily ascribes events in the environment to the behavior of agents.” Source This aspect could lead to a total new post – because it implies to me that, if this detector really exists (and my guts tell me this has extreme potential), then all the above mentioned points are just emergents of the detection system.
I guess this list could be extended – but for the moment it is enough.
Just keep in your mind – it is not the sun going down – it is the earth, turning at an incredible angular speed of 465.1 m/s.